Check exposure on the histogram.
After you snap a photo, mirrorless and DSLR cameras have a small LCD screen that gives you a preview of the photo you just took. In that small preview, you might not be able to tell if an image is properly exposed. Because of that, DSLR and mirrorless cameras can show you a graphical representation of exposure data known as a histogram.
“The left side represents the shadows and the right side represents the light,” says Barnes.
There is no single ideal shape for a histogram. They are contextual and depend on subject matter. A photograph of a black cat in a dark setting will have a different histogram shape than a photo of a white rabbit on a field of snow, even if both photos have the same exposure settings.
How to get the right exposure.
Getting the perfect exposure is a mix of your gear, your editing style and your commitment to practise.
Aperture priority, shutter priority and manual mode
Many modern cameras have aperture or shutter priority settings. With these, you can set aperture or shutter speed and the other settings will automatically adjust to fit them for proper exposure. Aperture priority, shutter priority, auto-mode and other pre-existing settings are tools that even professionals use.
However, shooting in manual mode, where you set all of the variables of the exposure triangle yourself, can allow for more creativity, control and a better understanding of the exposure triangle. Shooting in manual lets you play more with light and shadow, as well as other factors like depth of field.